A pilot is dead following an airplane crash south of Fort McMurray.

Wood Buffalo RCMP say they received reports of the downed plane around 2:30 p.m. Friday, about 45 minutes after flight records show the plane took off from the Fort McMurray airport.

The plane was found upside down in a remote lake south of the city.

John Lee of the Transportation Safety Board said the single-engine Cessna 185 left the airport in Fort McMurray for a trip that was supposed to be a short flight to a remote lake south of the city.

Lee said the amphibious plane was privately registered but the purpose of the flight was to conduct survey work in the region.

He said the first indication of trouble came from a helicopter pilot who flew over the lake and spotted the partially-submerged aircraft.

A team from the Department of National Defence Search and Rescue from Cold Lake later recovered the body of the pilot, who was the plane’s only occupant.

The pilot’s identity has not yet been released.

RCMP say the cause of the crash is not available at this time.

Police are now working with Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety board to complete their investigation.

With files from The Canadian Press